Skip to content

Plenty of questions for Rebels new season

By the time this newspaper reaches your doorstep, we'll have exactly 11 days until the Western Hockey League season is upon us. Training camp for the Red Deer Rebels kicks off on Aug.

By the time this newspaper reaches your doorstep, we'll have exactly 11 days until the Western Hockey League season is upon us.

Training camp for the Red Deer Rebels kicks off on Aug. 29, and, you can almost sense the excitement in the air as local hockey fans gear up for what should be another good season of Rebels hockey.

Questions abound in Rebel-land about this year's edition of the squad, like will they be able to take that next step this season and make some noise in the playoffs?

Will Willie Coetzee stick with the Detroit Red Wings, will he go to their American Hockey League affiliate in Grand Rapids, or could he return to the Rebels and fill one of three overage spots in the line up?

Who will take the other overage spots?

Will newcomer Byron Froese be able to fill the offensive hole left in the line up with the trading of Landon Ferraro?

Who will handle the goaltending duties for the Rebels?

Will it be Darcy Kuemper, who is expected to attend training camp this fall for the NHL's Minnesota Wild, or will the Rebels go with a Kraymer Barnstable/Kirby Halcrow combination between the pipes?

Or will a goalie prospect come out of nowhere at training camp and play his way into the starters role?

Will the reigning WHL rookie of the year, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins be able to duplicate his 64 point rookie season this year?

Sure looks good for the Burnaby, B.C. native, who just returned from the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Tournament in Slovakia and the Czech Republic with a gold medal adorning his neck.

Nugent-Hopkins tallied seven points in five games, including notching the only goal in a 1-0 gold medal win over the Americans on Saturday.

And here's a question I often get asked when out and about in Red Deer...who will join head coach Jesse Wallin and assistant Bryce Thoma behind the Rebels bench?

Or will the club go with just a two man crew calling the shots?

Fans of the red, black and white will have the ability to debate (or over debate) those questions and many more, thanks to the launching of a new Rebels-based fan website.

The brainchild of former Newcap Red Deer sports director Jared Waldo, www.rebelerebellion.com has only been up and running for a couple of weeks now but is already starting to attract some attention.

The site features articles, posts and opinions from local sportscasters, yours truly included, and emulates other fan-related websites like Oilersnation.com and Flamesnation.com.

Both those forums feature a mix of Oilers/Flames related articles from members of the mainstream media (MSM) and fan bloggers, and that's what makes them so successful.

Fans are able to log on, read an article, comment on it, and more often than not, get an actual response from the article's author.

Whether or not the writer agrees with your assessment of the situation matters not, but it gives the average Joe Fan an elevated sense of involvement in the team that dominates their thoughts from September to April (hopefully longer!)

I know I log onto Oilersnation.com and other Oilers message boards at least once a day to see what the scuttlebutt is, and I also know I am not alone in admitting that.

And despite the fact that rebelrebellion.com is still in its infancy, you can expect both the content and the fan following to ramp up in the coming weeks as hockey season officially kicks into high gear.

So what are you waiting for?

Let your fingers do the walking, or in this case, the talking, and join the Rebellion!